Derek Velzy
  • Male
  • Tempe, AZ
  • United States
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Derek Velzy replied to Kyle Bezold's discussion Why we should search for alien artifacts in our own solar system. in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"I like the point you add about looking at it from the aliens' point of view, because they are probably in the same boat as us. If we were to find a solar system with an earth-like planet on it, we would probably focus more heavily on that solar…"
Mar 30
Derek Velzy replied to Mitchell Drake's discussion Is It Ethical? And Do "They" Feel The Same Way? in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"I don't know if looking at isolated tribes would be a good example of how aliens would behave ethically though.  Most tribes are very barbaric probably due to a small population size and the fact that they aren't technologically…"
Mar 30
Derek Velzy posted a blog post

Europa, Enceladus, and Titan

Based on recent readings, especially from Christopher McKay in How to Search for Life on Other Worlds, I’ve come to believe that life only needs the right combination of three main requirements: a main solvent to host chemical reactions (ours on Earth being water), a mixture of common building-block elements (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Sulfur are examples of this), and enough energy to cause chemical reactions.  In Astrobiology lecture, we have discussed life being found on…See More
Mar 22
Derek Velzy replied to Mitchell Drake's discussion Multiple Origins Of Life? in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"Cool to see that you drew similarities in the development of modern man to the development of the origin of life. I also considered this to be an option after one of the readings mentioned something about "convergent" evolution (I believe…"
Feb 8
Derek Velzy replied to Adrien Pfister's discussion Is it possible to modify another planet to support human life? in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"Very interesting! I had no idea that those were Elon's plans for sending his latest rocket to Mars. To colonize Mars in six years, though, is an incredibly bold statement because we're talking about making a revolutionary change to an…"
Feb 8
Derek Velzy posted a blog post

The Most Adaptable Species

When we think of the most adaptable species, what comes to mind? Camels are able to survive without food or water for months, cockroaches are said to have survived the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, and Emperor Penguins are able to make journeys 60+ miles long with their last meal being four months earlier. All of these species are very well suited towards their particular environment, but if one were to put a camel in Antarctica, or an emperor penguin in the Gobi…See More
Feb 3
Derek Velzy replied to Jordane Raub's discussion Defining life in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"I also have trouble imagining that life on earth would have the same root cause as life may be on other worlds. The structure of organized building blocks like cells seem to be very complex and might not be the same for extraterrestrial life. I…"
Jan 26
Derek Velzy replied to Luke Seiler's discussion Will Computers Ever Be Considered Alive? in the group SES 311:Essentials of Astrobiology
"This is an interesting topic and I also wrote a post along the same lines as this. I believe, however, that there isn't really a barrier that we need to cross (as far as AI goes) to consider something to be alive. There is software out there…"
Jan 26
Derek Velzy posted a blog post

Why Limit Our Definitions?

Astrobiologists, amongst other biological scientists, have not yet settled on a standard definition for what they consider to be life; this is because there are so many loopholes and exceptions to each new definition-theory that we come up with. To a FAR lesser degree it is almost like trying to come up with a standard definition of a hamburger. Is it two separate bread buns with a beef patty in the center? What about protein style at In-N-Out where the buns are replaced by a lettuce wrap?…See More
Jan 18
Derek Velzy and Sara Imari Walker are now friends
Jan 15
Derek Velzy is now a member of SAGANet
Jan 14

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Derek Velzy's Blog

Europa, Enceladus, and Titan

Posted on March 22, 2018 at 6:49pm 0 Comments

Based on recent readings, especially from Christopher McKay in How to Search for Life on Other Worlds, I’ve come to believe that life only needs the right combination of three main requirements: a main solvent to host chemical reactions (ours on Earth being water), a mixture of common building-block elements (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Sulfur are examples of this), and enough energy to cause chemical reactions.  In Astrobiology lecture, we have discussed life…

Continue

The Most Adaptable Species

Posted on February 3, 2018 at 1:12pm 0 Comments

When we think of the most adaptable species, what comes to mind? Camels are able to survive without food or water for months, cockroaches are said to have survived the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, and Emperor Penguins are able to make journeys 60+ miles long with their last meal being four months earlier. All of these species are very well suited towards their particular environment, but if one were to put a camel in Antarctica, or an emperor penguin in the Gobi…

Continue

Why Limit Our Definitions?

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 5:59pm 0 Comments

Astrobiologists, amongst other biological scientists, have not yet settled on a standard definition for what they consider to be life; this is because there are so many loopholes and exceptions to each new definition-theory that we come up with. To a FAR lesser degree it is almost like trying to come up with a standard definition of a hamburger. Is it two separate bread buns with a beef patty in the center? What about protein style at In-N-Out where the buns are replaced by a lettuce wrap?…

Continue

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